Book Club With a Twist

MEDIA RELEASE December 8, 2021

Perth HEAT book reading
Perth Heat Players Megan Everitt and Conor Lourey join VCI Development Executive Maddie McLeod in a book reading at Westfield Park Primary School.

What do you get when you combine baseball and children’s literacy? A class of excited primary school students, of course.

On Thursday (December 2) the two worlds collided through an ongoing partnership between the Valuing Children Initiative (VCI) and Perth Heat.

Westfield Park Primary School students were delighted to meet players Megan Everitt and Conor Lourey, who delivered the VCI’s Four Pillar Book Series in captivating fashion.

“The stories aren’t just a good read, they’re designed to serve as educational tools and provide adults with opportunities to connect and discuss important issues with children,” VCI Development Executive Maddie McLeod said.

 “With the use of such delightful characters as Kelvin the Kangaroo and Kooky the Kookaburra we are able to empower children through our four pillars of listening, voice, safety and growth.

“Thanks to Conor and Megan’s input, they also learnt a bit about baseball too.”

Every student in the room was gifted with a Perth Heat goodie bag, including one of the VCI’s Four Pillar books.

“There’s lots of great work happening at Westfield Park Primary School in terms of their innovative and creative approach to education” Ms McLeod said.

“It’s exciting to see three very different organisations working together to ensure children are at the forefront of our considerations. This is what valuing children looks like.”

Westfield Park Primary School Principal Steve Soames said the visit was a big hit.

“Students and staff were very appreciative of the collaboration between the Valuing Children Initiative and Perth Heat,” he said.

“Hosting celebrities in our classrooms to read to the children is a wonderful way to both engage the children and demonstrate the value and importance of reading.”

The VCI and Perth Heat have been in cahoots since 2019, with the baseball club hosting an annual Valuing Children game day and supplying players for school book readings.

Perth Heat CEO Steve Nelkovski said the readings are a unique way for the club to demonstrate their commitment to valuing children through sport.

“We are always looking for opportunities to champion children, whether that be through clinics, player meet and greets or other inclusion activities like the Book Club,” he said.

“Sport is a fantastic way to promote children’s literacy because the kids are just so receptive to the players.

Studies show that physical education can improve brain function and academic performance, so to combine the two really is a no-brainer.”

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Media contact:
VCI Communications & Promotion Officer, Amy Green – agreen@valuingchildren.com.au or 0412 582 512